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ON Performance Whey Isolate review

Optimum Nutrition Performance Whey Isolate Review

In what may be seen by some as a surprise move, Optimum have just released a new protein powder called Performance Whey Isolate. As the name suggests, the product is pretty straight forward in that it’s a stand-alone whey protein isolate. The new product release is somewhat surprising in that the previous ‘performance’ product released by Optimum (i.e. Performance Whey) has largely been perceived as a flop. Sales of this product have been well below expectations, presumably because most optimum customers are happy with their existing Gold Standard Whey, and Performance Whey didn’t provide a clear enough point of difference to sway existing Optimum customers or new customers for that matter.

Despite their poor experience with Performance Whey, Optimum are having another go with Performance Whey Isolate. Presumably, the product is designed to attract supplement users who prefer a straight whey protein isolate over a blended whey, but at the same time don’t want to step up to a hydrolysed whey protein. The question for Optimum wis whether they want to transfer (upgrade) some existing Gold Standard 100% Whey customers/users to Performance Whey Isolate or whether they primarily want to attract new WPI die hard customers who up until now have never been able to buy a straight WPI from Optimum even if they wanted to.

In this article, we will take a close look at what Optimum Performance Whey Isolate has to offer compared with Optimum’s other key whey protein powders as well as analysing its pros and cons.

Performance Whey Isolate Highlights

As with any WPI, the key highlight for Performance Whey Isolate its is high protein content. Every 37g scoop provides a solid 30g of protein, which includes 6.5g of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). While 30g of protein is high, it’s important to keep in mind that the serving size (37g) is relatively high compared with say Gold Standard 100% Whey, which boasts a 30g serving size. It’s a given that if you increase the serving size of any protein powder, then you are naturally going to get more protein per serve. For this reason, when comparing protein powders in the same category, it’s useful to compare protein % content to get a more relevant comparison. With this in mind, we have compiled a table that compares the key nutritional stat’s for Optimum’s leading whey protein powders below.

Performance Whey Isolate Ingredients & Dose

The ingredients in Performance Whey Isolate are pretty standard as far as WPI’s go. There’s no fancy extras like digestive enzymes, added aminos or vitamins/minerals – just straight WPI and the usual extras like gums, flavours and sweeteners. At the end of the day, Optimum will no doubt hope to leverage sales of Performance Whey Isolate mostly off its unrivalled name for protein quality and purity. The table below provides a good reference for how Performance Whey Isolate stacks up against Optimum’s other leading whey protein powders.

Performance Whey Isolate Gold Standard 100% Whey Hydro Whey
Cost per lb (USD)  $    22.22 Cost per lb (USD)  $    11.80 Cost per lb (USD)  $    18.28
(Based on listed price on Optimum website) (Based on listed price on Optimum website) (Based on listed price on Optimum website)
Scoop Size (g) 37 % Concentration Scoop Size (g) 30.4 % Concentration Scoop Size (g) 39 % Concentration
Protein (g) 30 81.08% Protein (g) 24 78.95% Protein (g) 30 76.92%
Carb (g) 3 8.11% Carb (g) 3 9.87% Carb (g) 2 5.13%
Fat (g) 1 2.70% Fat (g) 1 3.29% Fat (g) 1 2.56%
BCAA (g) 6.5 21.67% BCAA (g) 5.5 22.92% BCAA (g) 8.8 29.33%
(BCAA as % of protein content) (BCAA as % of protein content) (BCAA as % of protein content)

Performance Whey Isolate Effectiveness & Pros

As the table above shows, Performance Whey Isolate has the highest protein content at just over 81%. This is fundamentally its most important feature. Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot of other pros or features of the product to ride home about.

Performance Whey Isolate Cons

Surprisingly, Performance Whey Isolate has a lower BCAA concentration than both Gold Standard and Hydro Whey when compared on a percentage basis. At the time of writing, Performance Whey Isolate has yet to be released in Australia making it hard to comment on pricing. But simply going off the published prices on Optimum’s website, Performance Whey Isolate currently sits as the highest priced whey protein powder on a per kilo (or pound) basis; even higher than Hydro Whey - Optimum’s leading protein powder.

Performance Whey Isolate Taste & Mixability

No product was available at the time of writing to provide first hand feedback on Performance Whey Isolate taste or mixability. But simply going off the ingredient list that includes a number of gums, one would have to assume the product carries a relatively thick consistency for a whey protein isolate.

Performance Whey Isolate Verdict

It’s very hard to say how Performance Whey Isolate will be received on the Australian market. When rated purely on a feature basis, the product does not provide any real wow factor for a WPI. Many new WPI’s nowadays are opting for a zero carb and/or zero fat content. This would have been a good option for Optimum to consider to make the product stand out. Optimum’s stand out best seller – Gold Standard 100% Whey is pitched as a blended whey protein who’s main ingredient is whey protein isolate. The challenge with this is how to distinguish it from Performance Whey Isolate. 

Just how well the product will fare will depend largely on the power of the Optimum brand. But not too many people will be surprised if the product fails to gain any real traction in the highly competitive WPI market segment. It’s fair to say Optimum could have made a few more features to help the product stand out better from its other whey protein powders.

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